Prepositional phrase vs. Indirect Object

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In the sentence "I will return this to the store" is "to the store" acting as an indirect object or a prepositional phrase?   If a prepositional phrase, how is it different from "I will return this to Tom" (clearly an indirect object)?

 

What I am really wondering about is WHY it is different from "to Tom."  Is animacy a necessity for an I.O.?  I learned the rule as an I.O. answered the question "to or for someone or Something." Is this no longer true?   Thanks.

asked Nov 06 '13 at 17:04 cdenni2 New member

1 answer


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Both 'to the store' and 'to Tom' are prepositional phrases, not indirect objects. Indirect objects will almost always precede the direct object.

The indirect object doesn't have to be a person.

I gave the ball a kick.

'Ball' is the I.O.

link comment answered Nov 06 '13 at 17:16 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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